Wedding Party

What do SOs of the WP do?

While some of our WP are single, we have a couple members who are in relationships or will otherwise be bringing dates. I'm sort of wondering what the dates of the WP will do while the WP is doing WP things. 

For example: I was worried about what my (groomsman) brother's girlfriend would do the day of the wedding while we are doing pictures. I will obviously seat WP members with their dates at the reception, but she won't really know anyone besides my family, who will be doing pictures, and she is somewhat shy (I think, anyway). We will likely include her in some family pictures, but probably not shots of the whole party. Then I realized all our WP dates won't know anyone.

Should they tag along with us for pictures? Should I try to hook them up with other guests I think they'll get along with? Or am I just worrying too much and should assume that because they are adults they know how to handle themselves socially? I just want to make sure everyone has a good time.
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Re: What do SOs of the WP do?

  • My FH was just in his best friend's wedding where I did not know anyone.  My FH introduced me to a few of the other groomsmen's wives/significant others before the wedding so I had people to sit with and talk to before he went off to the WP things.  You could do the same.  If they don't know anyone else they will at least know each other and hopefully have a few things in common to keep them company while the wedding party is off doing their thing.  It is very sweet of you to want to make sure everyone has a good time.  I am the same way.

  • My FI was the BM in a wedding a few years ago where the only people I knew were the bride and groom.  But I went to the rehearsal dinner the night before and met a few of the other people (including the husband of the MOH who also didn't know too many people), so that helped that day.  Also, the ceremony and reception were at 2 different locations so I stopped by his house on the way to freshen up and got to the reception only about 20 minutes before the pictures were done, so I wasn't along too long.

    I guess what I am saying is she'll figure it out and I wouldn't worry too much about it.  Just make sure she is invited to the rehearsal dinner...
  • On the contrary, I've been a date of a GM at two weddings before (where I didn't know anyone else), and both were awful.  It was obvious that the bride and groom hadn't given one thought to the dates of the WP.  Both weddings did not have assigned seating, so I was left to find my own seat in a sea of strangers.  At one wedding, they rented a limo to transport the bride and groom - but they didn't have room enough for the entire wedding party.  Yet they insisted my FI be one of the people to ride in the limo, knowing that I'd have to make the drive from the ceremony to the reception by myself.  60 minutes on country roads in a state I wasn't from.  (While there were plenty of single WP members they could have picked).  To put it lightly, I didn't expect them to roll out the red carpet for me, but in retrospect if I knew how bad it was going to be I wouldn't have attended either wedding.

    So now that I'm getting married...I'm going to make sure that the WP guests are taken care of.  People spend a lot of time and money to be in the WP as your honored guests, I think the least I can do is make simple arrangements for their significant others - I don't want my WP to be worried about their dates while they could be relaxing and enjoying the day.  I'd let dates of WP know they are welcome to come hang out while you guys take photos - I brought a book to previously mentioned weddings and that was fine.  I also made sure to rent transportation large enough for everyone - so WP members and their dates are welcome in our limo.  Sounds like you already have the right idea about the reception.

    You really don't have to do much to make someone feel welcome, a simple "Hey, you are more than welcome to come hang out while we take wedding photos, I'm so excited you were able to come today!" will go a long way in making someone feel welcome.  Maybe take a few of your more social BMs aside and let them know that your brother's GF is going to be there and she doesn't really know anyone?  You could also take the initiative to introduce her and all the WP dates to each other. 

    Either way....glad to hear that you are thinking about it - I'd hate your brother's girlfriend to have as bad of experiences as I did =]
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  • graysquirrelgraysquirrel member
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    edited December 2011

    I would not worry about it too much, but I think that you are super sweet for wanting them to feel comfortable. Like pps I know what if feels like to be the SO and lost in a sea of strangers.
    If you are having a rehearsal dinner, I would make sure to introduce SOs at that time. If your brother/GM knows any of the other WP members, perhaps you could have him introduce his girlfriend as well. If you are having pictures taken before the wedding, then chances are the SO guests will find each other anyway.

  • @AurorasEnvy... that sounds pretty awful. Im sorry you had to go through that, I feel bad for you. :(
  • I was a best man's SO.  The rehersal wasn't too bad - I just brought a Nintendo DS.

    The hour before the wedding was worse, though, (my date had to arrive early to help set up/get ready) because I was afraid bringing something to entertain myself would look rude as the rest of the guests gradually arrived.  I passed a few messages, and held a few cameras, and petted the horses, but mostly I milled about aimlessly until the one other guest I knew arrived.  Honestly, unless you have a group of SOs who know each other well, or who have shared interests, there's only so much you can do.  I was introduced to the family at the rehersal, but I still barely knew them, and naturally they had more to say to each other than to me.

    It would be nice to let the SOs sit with their dates at the reception, though.  Either make room at the head table, or have a sweetheart table and let the wedding party mingle with the guests.  Sitting alone at dinner surrounded by strangers kinda sucked.
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  • They took a seat early before the ceremony (we gave them places of honor near the front) and after the ceremony they hung around while we had pictures done.  We gave them the option of heading over to the restaurant early, but they chose to wait.

    At a wedding I went to, the signifcant others went to the reception immediately after the ceremony and waited at the wedding party's table.

    So really, whatever they're comfortable with.
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  • OP, I agree its super nice of you to want to make sure everyone is comfortable on the wedding day.

    The very first time I met all of my FI's friends was at a wedding.  He was in the wedding party, so I met a bunch of the party and their SOs the night before at the rehearsal dinner.  A few of the girlfriends invited me to get ready with them the next day, while FI took pictures before the wedding.  I think if you have a few ladies who are your groomsmen's dates take her under their wing you should be fine.  If not, then she can accompany the party during the pictures - maybe have her in a few pics with family as well.
  • I wouldn't worry about them so much during the pictures.  It's the seating at the reception that I think is the bigger deal. 

    At our wedding the SOs of our WP hung out during picture taking time.  Your photographer will want to get your WP pics done, so they can move on to the cocktail hour.  At which point, the SOs will go with them.

    At the reception, don't split up couples.  Don't make your WP sit separately from their SOs who are not in the WP. 

    Like PPs said, it's nice that you're thinking of them.
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  • I don't think you should worry about it too much.  Introducing people at a rehearsal would be nice and saying they can hang out for pictures is okay as long as it isn't distracting because you want to get thru pictures in a timely manner.  Making sure guests have a good time is important but these people are adults.  Most adults have to meet new people one time or another without their SO there.  That's basic for social settings.  I know people are shy (I am not so I don't wana be mean about it) but I think most people can function without their SO for an hour.  Maybe though enlist a gregarious aunt or  outgoing friend who isn't in the WP to keep an eye out for people on their own to include them or introduce them to others.  You have way to much on your plate to have to worry about each individual person having fun at every second.
  • I say invite them to a few WP events - rehearsal dinner, etc. so they all can get to know each other, and definitely include them in things. I was the MOH in a destination wedding one year and 2 other BM's (like me) had OOT boyfriends who, by the time the reception arrived, were PISSED at the lack of though that had been given to them. They had to find their own ways to the reception as we rode in a limo with the bride and groom and were constantly having BS jobs (transporting the WP's luggage, checking everyone into the hotel) passed on to them b/c they had nothing else to do. I say include them as much as possibel without stepping on anyone's toes - trust me, you do not want your wedding photos to have a BM crying. That happened.
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  • My H was in a wedding (he was originally a GM, but was demoted to an usher because he didn't want to spend $800 on the groom's b-party while we were saving for our own wedding....yeah, he's not really friends with him anymore) and he had to be there 2 hours before the ceremony for pictures, so we drove separately since the venue was somewhat close to our house. 

    One of the other GM's girlfriends on the other hand had to come at 1PM with her BF (they lived much farther), and she was not even allowed in the venue because the B&G are assholes and said they wanted it to be WP only, so she had to wait in the car.  Then she had to sit by herself during the ceremony (obviously she expected that), she didn't know anyone during the cocktail hour while they were taking even more pictures, and had to sit away from her BF during all the spotlight dances and dinner as well.  The only remotely polite thing the B&G did was sit her at a table with the rest of the GM's dates, so we tried our best to make her feel included, she was a really nice girl and I felt so bad for her.

    I'd say at the very least, allow their dates to tag along while you are doing group pictures (they don't need to be in the pics obviously, but at least they can be there and talk with their SO in between shots and stuff).  Other than that, I think introducing them to everyone else at the RD is a good idea because that can at least bridge that gap while they are occupied with pictures.
  • You bring up a good point.  I never thought about this.  We're having a head table but 2 of my BM and several of the GM have SOs.  Maybe our head table will just consist of us, MOH and BM.  That way the other people can sit with their SOs.  Thanks for making me think about this :-)
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  • edited December 2011
    Just follow etiquette and expect these SOs to do the same. So, invite them to the rehearsal dinner, which is a social function, so the paired social unit has to be invited together. Let them sit with the WP members at the reception.

    For the rehearsal itself and photos, provide as precise a schedule as you can, and let them know they can wait or be elsewhere. If possible, maybe provide a quiet spot where they can read a novel or whatever. We're doing a long rehearsal (complicated ceremony) and all photos in the very traditional church, and I can see someone being shy about reading a novel or playing a video game in the church, though the members of the church really don't care, as long as it's not during a service.
  • You should have your brother invite his girlfriend to be present during picture time. She doesn't have to be posing in every single photo, but she can be hanging out with your family. And if they are in a serious relationship, it might be nice to include her in a photo or two.

    The other SOs can just hang out with the rest of the guests when they need to. If the BMs have to arrive early, their partners can just plan on arriving in time for the ceremony. And there shouldn't be THAT many times during the wedding that the BP are occupied in specific tasks, right? After the ceremony, they'll basically be doing the same things as the other guests.
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